Just finished it this morning. Thank you grandma and grandpa for giving us such an interesting book to read! I liked the novel because it was unlike anything I had read before. Pretty sure the only detective novels I'd read in the past were Nancy Drew. And after you've read 3 of those you can pretty much predict the rest of them.
Now The Maltese Falcon was anything but predictable. I read the first part of the book at the beginning of the month and had to go back to have little reminders of who Miles and Thursby were. All I remembered was that there had been murders unsolved.
Typically female characters come off strongly as "good" or "bad" but Brigid was one all on her own. At first I completely believed that she was in danger and some crap story about her sister was true. And then she just gets crazy. All of her lying easily twisted her into someone that should not be trusted (trust, a big theme of the novel) but just because Spade couldn't trust her was that a reason not to work with her? Apparently he didn't think it was that important and continued on with the case.
What I'd be most interested to know is if Sam Spade really did have ulterior motives for finding the falcon. Would he have done the "right thing" and turned it in to be on display in a museum? Or would he have been part of the deal and sent it along the black market like it had been for centuries? We'll never know but I'd like to think that he had a scheme that included a little interest for himself. The shady detective is an interesting character, and much more human.
In all I really enjoyed this book and I'd be interested in reading more of Hammet's work in the future.